TT 111: More on Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin

One for a speciality audience: I had good time talking about all things Rex Stout for the Like the Wolfe podcast hosted by Jeff Quest. There’s also quite a bit about Agatha Christie, Sherlock Holmes, James Bond, Lawrence Block, The X-Files and other sundry matters. When I listened back I thought Jeff did a good job with the edits and that I sounded…pretty smart?!? Anyway, if you like reading my crime fiction criticism, check it out.

(Also available on all podcast apps, search “Like the Wolfe.”)

TT 110: Musings about style, Bill Evans swings hard, Stryker takes over Chronology with Freddie Redd

New teaching page, a last bit of wisdom (?) as school lets out for the year: “There is Only Today.” I am not usually this frank about my personal aesthetics — usually I only teach history — but apparently the pandemic weakened my defenses...

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Must read: Mark Stryker on Freddie Redd. Beautiful. We need Stryker’s critical voice in this music.

The previous columns were all written by myself. Thanks again to Vinnie Sperrazza for the name “Chronology,” which is a great Ornette Coleman tune as well as an appropriate title for this series…

  1. James Newton

  2. John Scofield, Steve Swallow, Adam Nussbaum

  3. Mary Lou Williams

  4. Don Cherry

  5. Charli Persip (RIP since publication)

  6. Shirley Horn

  7. Harold Mabern, Larry Willis, and Richard Wyands

  8. Bertha Hope

  9. Gary Peacock (RIP since publication — I spoke to Peacock before posting and he signed off on the article.)

  10. Jimmy Lyons

  11. Wynton Kelly at Left Bank

  12. Paul Desmond

  13. Old and New Dreams

  14. Larry Young and Woody Shaw

  15. Jacob Garchik and Andrew D’Angelo

  16. Meredith D’Ambrosio

  17. Eubie Blake

  18. McCoy Tyner as sideman

  19. Ron Carter in the early 80s

  20. Pete La Roca (as told by Steve Swallow)

  21. Ralph Peterson with Geri Allen

I recently learned about a shocking Bill Evans solo on “Bye Bye Blackbird.”

George Packer tries to make sense of the current condition in The Atlantic“How America Fractured Into Four Parts.” An interesting read. I admit that — despite everything — I identify as a patriot and as an American. Particularly I identify as an American artist, a concept that I find irresistible…

The Packer article pairs smoothly with a fresh interview with Anthony Braxton. Braxton loves being an American: Certainly Braxton’s music couldn’t have happened anywhere else.

TT 109: Jeff Watts interview

Yeah. Interview with Jeff “Tain” Watts for DTM. Yeah!

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I really liked The Last Flight by Julie Clark, it had some of Thomas Perry’s cat-and-mouse but with a 2020 twist. Just finished Bloody Genius by John Sandford, surely one of the few big bestsellers whose work has steadily gotten better over the years. (Virgil Flowers is more durable than Lucas Davenport.)

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It’s very important for artistic geniuses to hold incorrect opinions. Any worthy aesthetic is unruly.

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